One of the most important aspects of managing a project is clearly defined roles and responsibilities. However, if you are feeling unsure of what a specific role entails then you are not alone. We have put together a FAQ for you to shed some light on what the different titles involve.
In large companies several people are likely to have the same role. In small companies, on the other hand, one individual is likely to take on more than one role. Naturally it is important that the individual taking on a position possesses the necessary skillset to do the job. This is no less true when taking on multiple roles. It is also worth noting that some roles are more easily combined than others.
Suitable secondary roles
Project manager, business analyst
Suitable secondary roles
Product manager, business analyst
The roles and their responsibilities
This is a brief overview of the various roles required in a software project.
This role should be filled by a senior person who has good knowledge of the business. They need to have the authority to make business decisions throughout the project's lifetime. The project executive is responsible for delegating business decision to the product owner and the day-to-day management of the project to the project manager.
The product owner has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the project requirements fulfil the business' needs. They must also make sure that the final product lives up to these expectations. This role requires that you understand the strategic objectives of the project. Furthermore, it requires an understanding of how all development requests are expected to deliver value for the business.
The project manager maintains the portfolio plan. The product owner on the other hand will own the portfolio on behalf of the company's senior management.
The project management role cannot be fulfilled by "just anyone". You want someone that is candid, structured and organised. They are responsible for managing the project and its people on a day-to-day basis. A good project manager facilitates the flow of work by ensuring everyone fulfills their responsibilities.
This position is responsible for the overall system design of the product. This includes the integration between various component systems.
The technical lead is the go-to person for advice on technical issues. They play an important role in making sure the business gets what it needs. Technical leads are respected for their knowledge and willing to help others.
Business analysts work closely with the product owner and the end users. They have the skill to ask questions that uncover business needs that you might not have thought of. Once the business analyst understands your business needs they document the necessary requirements for delivering the right solution.
The results of a project is intended to make the life of the end user easier and more efficient. Because of this, the end user is one of the most important roles in a project. They work with the business analyst to identify what capabilities are required for them to do their work. They are involved throughout the project to make sure everything being delivered solves a problem and makes their life easier.
By working with user scenarios and acceptance tests, the end user is able to confirm that they are getting what they need. By having them involved throughout the project, they can quickly raise concerns if they are not getting what they need.
Quality Assurance (QA)
The role of quality assurance entails ensuring that the development process keeps an appropriate quality level throughout. They are responsible for making sure that all elements of the product mesh.
Testers are responsible for validating that all work completed does what it is meant to do and does not negatively impact on the existing solutions.
Well thought through automated testing can save time and reduce the number of professional testers in your team.
Usability Expert (UX)
UX developers and designers make it easy and intuitive for people to work with digital solutions. Therefore, they need to understand how people naturally work. A good UX person has an interest in how humans think and act. They use their knowledge of your users culture and society to make sure your digital solution does what they expect.
The designer works closely with the UX developer to produce the desired design of the product interface. They ensure that the digital products represent the business brand and provide the desired user experience.
A frontend developer crafts the visual representation of you have asked for. They do this by using wireframes, design and documented user scenarios and acceptance tests. They create the interface that the end user interacts with and sees.
Backend Developer (business layer)
The backend developer implements the digital core logic needed by the business. Backend developers are like magicians. They take data and turn it into information that can be used by people and other digital systems. They give you seamless flows of information across your organisation and to your suppliers and customers.
Your business data needs to be stored and managed. How and when this data is used will dictate how you store and manage it. Database experts has the knowledge of how to create the digital storage of data.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO Expert)
If your business is dependent on reaching customers online, you need an SEO expert. They help craft information in a way that allows search engines to find you and give greater exposure to your customers. An SEO expert works with your marketing department to make sure that your valuable content is promoted by search engines.
Analytics and Reporting
This role in software development is responsible for ensuring that the requirements for good analytics and reporting tools are documented and fulfilled. This often requires integration with third party tools.
The security expert oversees the security of digital systems in order to prevent them from being exploited and used for criminal activities.